The COVID-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on the mental health of people all over the country but people who already experience inequality have been far more adversely affected.
That’s why we’re investing in the Covid Response Programme to deliver targeted support for lone parents, refugees, people from Black and minority ethnic communities, and people living with long-term health conditions.
We have all had to weather the COVID-19 storm, but not all of us have been in the same boat. Some people have been disproportionately affected by the negative mental health impact of the pandemic and the consequences of lockdowns. Examination of further studies  including our own Mental Health Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Scotland on Vulnerable Groups (PDF), has shown that inequalities experienced by some, including lone parents, Black and minority ethnic communities, refugees and people with long term physical health conditions, have been exacerbated by the pandemic.
We are investing at least £2 million over the next two years to support people and communities across the UK whose mental health has been most impacted by the events of the last year. The Mental Health Foundation is contributing at least £1 million which will be matched by other investors and delivery partners to run programmes and interventions that will support people to live mentally healthy lives.
The Covid Response Programme is not grant giving and won’t involve a tender process. Our partners have been selected based on their expertise and experience of evidence-based practice.
Current programmes running across the UK as part of our Covid Response Programme.
Small Talk (Scotland)
The Small Talk project began in Scotland with small-scale research among young, single mothers, aged under 25, who had given birth during the pandemic.
Mental Health for Better Days (Northern Ireland)
Working with the Healthy Living Centre Alliance (HLCA), we are investing in a tailored programme to protect the mental health of people living with long-term physical health conditions in Northern Ireland.
Living Well: Emotional Support Matters (Scotland)
In Scotland, the Living Well: Emotional Support Matters programme supports eight charities working with people who are living with long-term health conditions to provide tailored, practical mental health support.
Young Mums Connect (England)
Young Mums Connect is a three-year programme in Nottingham and Greenwich, south-east London that builds on previous work to support young vulnerable mothers and their children.
Connecting Creatively: Single Parents Wellbeing (Wales)
Connecting Creatively offers a safe space for single parents and their children by encouraging creativity, positive parenting, and through building a peer support network.
Long Covid Peer Support (Wales)
The Long Covid project aims to improve well-being, reduce social isolation and prevent mental ill-health in individuals living with Long Covid in Wales.
 Christie, G. and Baillot, H. (2021) The impact of COVID-19 on refugees and refugee-assisting organisations in Scotland. Glasgow.
Lessard-Phillips, L. et al. (2020) Barriers to Wellbeing: Migration and vulnerability during the pandemic. London.